Kate Middleton to Co-Design Chelsea Flower Show Garden Promoting Mental Wellbeing

Bonnie Evie Gifford
By Bonnie Evie Gifford,
updated on Jan 16, 2019

Kate Middleton to Co-Design Chelsea Flower Show Garden Promoting Mental Wellbeing

In her debut at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, the Duchess of Cambridge will team up with landscape architects to encourage families to rediscover nature, as well as the physical and mental health benefits it has to offer

It has been announced that Her Royal Highness is collaborating with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and landscape architects, Andree Davies and Adam White, to create their entry into this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Duchess’s entry, Back to Nature, aims to celebrate the nature and the countryside. Encouraging families and communities to rediscover nature in all of its raw forms, a particular focus is expected to be placed on visitors experiencing the mental and physical health benefits nature has to offer.

According to a survey by the National Garden Scheme as part of their campaign to highlight the impact of gardens on mental wellbeing, they revealed 80% of us feel happier after visiting gardens. Many reported calming effects and increases in creativity following a visit to a garden.

Kate Middleton’s garden collaboration is intended to inspire future generations to embrace outdoor activities as well as inspire them to get into gardening. Expected to be heavily inspired by woodlands, Back to Nature will attempt to encapsulate the wonder and magic of the great outdoors that children feel, but we can often lose touch with as adults.

A statement from Kensington Palace went on to explain:

“The garden will build on Her Royal Highness’s passion for the outdoors and the proven benefits that nature has on physical and mental health.

"The Duchess is a strong advocate for the positive impact that nature and the environment can have on childhood development, demonstrated by her longstanding support for organisations including the Scouts and Farms for City Children, as well as at more recent engagements to Sayers Croft Forest School and Wildlife Garden, the RHS Campaign for School Gardening, and her visit to to Islington Community Garden.”

The garden is set to use wild planting and natural materials to create a woodland wilderness where children and adults alike can feel closer and more connected to the great outdoors.

Known for her passion and dedication for raising awareness of mental health issues as well as supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing, Kate will combine her work for increased awareness with her love of gardening. Together with experts and organisations, she has previously championed the importance of providing solid psychological, social, and emotional platforms to support children’s mental health and emotional resilience, providing the foundations for healthier, more fulfilling adulthoods.

The Duchess of Cambridge, together with the Duke of Cambridge and Duke of Sussex, has previously championed mental health through the Heads Together campaign which brought together eight leading mental health charities. Through her previous work and support, initiatives have built on existing progress to tackle stigma, raise awareness, start national conversations, and provide help for those experiencing mental health problems.

For over 200 years, the RHS, the UK’s leading gardening charity, has championed the power of gardening and growing plants not only for the environment, but for the health and wellbeing of people of all ages and backgrounds.

RHS Director General, Sue Biggs, said:

“We could not be more thrilled, or feel more honoured, that the Duchess of Cambridge has co-designed our RHS Garden at Chelsea Flower Show this year, with award-winning landscape architects, Andree Davies and Adam White.”

In an interview with the Telegraph, co-designers shared further inspirations for their joint entry, crediting in part the Japanese idea of ‘forest bathing’ as well as Richard Louv’s Last Child in the Woods, a parenting book which raises the idea of a ‘nature deficit disorder’ in children.

The RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be Kate’s second foray into green-fingered causes this year. Earlier this week, the Duchess of Cambridge made a visit to the King Henry’s Walk Garden in Islington where she met keen amateur gardeners and saw urban space allotment plots, before getting stuck in making pizza from locally grown ingredients and painting birdhouses with local children.

This year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show will be the second year in a row with headlining gardens seeking to tackle mental health and wellbeing. Last year, the RHS pledged their Feel Good Garden to a London mental health trust.

As part of a move to promote non-medical treatments alongside traditional methods for mental health patients as well as to celebrate the NHS’s 70th anniversary, over three-quarters of NHS England trusts entered the competition to receive the award-winning garden.

Designed by Matt Keightley, the garden was relocated to Camden and Islington Mental Health Trust’s Highgate Mental Health Centre. It has yet to be announced if a similar competition may be held this year.

The Chelsea Flower Show will be held between 21-25 May 2019. To find out more, visit

Discover more about how gardening can benefit your mental health, or check out our article on ways gardening can help you flourish.

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